about this blog

I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Monday, 14 February 2011

through the looking glass

my friend L is an artist. by this i mean that she paints great pictures but even more importantly she carries ideas and feelings about beauty, colour and form in the natural world deep inside her and they inform what she does and how she sees things and how she lives.

L recently painted the wall at the bottom of her garden. the technique she used is called trompe d'oeil. edith hope wrote about this recently. it means literally deception for the eye, or optical illusion.

a lovely garden has been transformed into a magical space. like alice, we can glimpse the world on the other side of the glass. and also like alice we probably need to be in a dream state to enter that intriguing tantalizing otherworld.


  1. Love a good trompe d'oeil. Your friend has done a great job of this one. I like mirrors too, so long as there is something to reflect.

  2. Oh wow, that is quite fabulous, your friend is very talented. What a great addition to a garden that would be. I love a bit of decoration around the yard, I'm not very good at it myself though.

  3. That works so well. Very good.

  4. Dear Catmint, I LOVE it!!! This is such fun and so beautifully executed. I love the way that the real pots and their planting have been echoed in the trompe l'oeil image so that they seemingly go on for ever. What a talented friend you have....are you not tempted to commission her?!!!

    Thank you so much for your kind mention of my weblog. I trust that you are progressing well.

  5. I've seen that used inside but not much in gardens, very nice. I'm always impressed with people who can sketch or paint since that talent passed me completly by :-)

  6. How creative! Love the idea a lot!! It's indeed magical to be in a place with outstanding artwork and lovely garden. L is so talented :-D

  7. What a brilliant example of trompe d'oeil, it can so often look so naff. Edith is quite right, the "real" pots echoed in the painting really make it. Fabulous.

  8. Hi Catmint, Sorry about your fracture and the unusual weather you've been having this summer. If it's not one thing it seems to be another. Hopefully now you are recovering.

    That painting is really something. I'm so glad you included the long shot. It really looks like a mirror in that one then a real pathway in the close up. Your friend is quite talented. Looks like she might step into Italy at any time.

  9. That wall painting is phenomenal! Optical illusions are the best and at times (such as this), you want to walk right through the wall...

    Hope your hand heels soon...


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